Who went on SiriusXM NFL Radio and WEEI last week and what did he do with Bill Belichick?
The Patriots head coach was surprisingly candid about his team's salary cap situation in both interviews, at one point defending New England's current lack of talent by claiming the club "sold out and won three Super Bowls."
Belichick typically won't tell you what he had for breakfast in the morning much less explain his team's roster-building strategy over the last six years. So, why is the Patriots head coach suddenly so forthcoming?
Former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi joined WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria" on Wednesday to make sense of Belichick's comments.
"The only logic with him expressing that publicly is that’s the overwhelming consensus of the organization — even trickling down to players," Bruschi said.
Bruschi noted COVID-19 has "hit this team pretty hard from the beginning," as an NFL-high eight Patriots players -- including team leaders Dont'a Hightower, Patrick Chung and Marcus Cannon -- opted out before the season. New England also missed nearly two full weeks of practice and had to reschedule two games due to the virus.
"(The opt-outs) set the tone back then, and then how it hit them the last couple weeks like we’ve been talking about, so is it understood there?" Bruschi said. "Because if that is understood amongst the organization then they wouldn’t be surprised with those types of comments coming from the head coach.
"That's the only way I can logically explain this type of messaging that is coming out of the head coach because he’s always been like a rock in terms of the message he sends to the media. It is consistent with the message he sends to his players.”
Bruschi's implication is that Belichick is making similar excuses for New England's 2-5 start behind closed doors, and that his coaching staff and players also may view 2020 as a "lost season" of sorts.
That would be a drastic change in tone for a head coach who seemingly loathes excuses and harps on "doing your job" and blocking out everything except that week's opponent.
Then again, the Patriots haven't been this bad in 20 years, so perhaps we simply haven't seen this side of Belichick yet.